New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this past week, underwent an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain that is expected to sideline him one to two weeks, league sources told ESPN.
Thomas already has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, and there’s a real chance he will not be able to play next week against the Chicago Bears either, according to sources.
Thomas is likely to be considered questionable for next week, as he tries to recover from his hamstring injury as well as the high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This means the Saints could be without their top two wide receivers for each of the next two weeks, with Emmanuel Sanders already having tested positive for the coronavirus and being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Sunday’s contest will be the fifth consecutive game that Thomas has missed after he suffered the high ankle sprain and was benched for team disciplinary reasons in Week 5 after a practice altercation with teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Thomas appeared likely to return from the ankle injury before that incident in Week 5, and he was definitely expected back after the Week 6 bye. But the hamstring injury was a new ailment that showed up for the first time on Wednesday’s injury report.
The Saints feel fortunate to have detected Sanders’ coronavirus case when they did. His COVID-19 test Wednesday came back negative, and when he wasn’t feeling well Thursday but practiced, the Saints conducted another test that came back positive. They immediately put into effect contract tracing, with the hopes of containing the spread of the virus.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Friday that the organization also tested about 20 other people who might have been near Sanders, and all of them tested negative. But Payton said reserve cornerback Ken Crawley will be added to the reserve/COVID-19 list as a precaution because of their close contact.
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